I think the only return that comes close in significance to Ricky ‘n’ Bianca’s return to EastEnders is Jesus’s triumphant return to Jerusalem – the event that would set off a chain reaction that would lead, ultimately, to the long-haired layabout getting himself nailed up by what Mel Gibson would describe as ‘the fucking Jews, sugatits.’
First, let’s examine the Return Of Ricky (or: Sid Owen’s Run Out Of Money Again).
Did someone at an EastEnders plot meeting say:
“Hey, we’ve had Max’s affair with Stacey uncovered, Jim having a stroke, Phil’s wife falling off a roof, Kevin ending up with half a car punched through his guts, Shirley staring down the barrels of being one tit down, Bobby Davro showing up for no obvious reason anyone can see, the usual rubbish Asian family storyline, Dorothy terrorised by hoodies, Max being buried alive, Dino returning for ten minutes to pull the same just out of prison/transformed into a bad-boy shtick Martin did a few years ago, the Northern man’s boy stabbed-up, and Keith sitting in a chair scratching his arse … but, you know? I don’t think there’s enough going on. What we need, see, is a curmudgeonly car mechanic with a strange and unspecified nasal complaint who did nothing the last time we had him back, and will do nothing this time. Shall we, ladies and gentleman, invite Sid Owen back to the show?”
Was the sad death of the wrong Mike Reid enough to justify the return of one of EastEnders’ least interesting characters? Couldn’t they have left Ricky up in Manchester along with the other thousand ex-cast members, leaving us to wallow in the thought that Funtime Frankie’s still out there somewhere, being Frank? Apparently not.
So, what do I see when I look in my crystal ball and examine what’s coming up for Ricky? Well …
Phil gives Ricky his job back.
Ricky befriends Gus, Minty, Gary and the utterly pointless Mickey.
Ricky, Minty, Gus, Gary and Mickey go on a jolly boy’s outing to Margate or Saaaaarfend and many japes and chuckles ensue.
Ricky gets back with the monstrous Bianca.
Ricky, Minty, Gary, Gus, and Mickey drink ‘bottles of lager’ in the Queen Vic.
Phil gets into a spot of bother and Ricky helps him out of it.
Ricky and Bianca fall out.
Ricky leaves EastEnders again.
Well I don’t know about you, but I’m slavering at the prospect of the fun ‘n’ games a towering character such as Ricky Butcher can bring to the show. Who next in the cavalcade of dull and uninteresting ex-residents of Walford could they bring back?
Oz from Ozcabs? Ted Hills? The ghost of Roy Evans?
Well no, actually. Because the one they’re bringing back next is the one that should have been murdered so she could never, ever return to EastEnders.
Who decided that a screeching, rangy tart was what was missing from EastEnders? Surely we’ve already got enough awful tarts in the show, haven’t we? Isn’t the ghastly Shirley, the awful Stacey and that dreadful jizz-mop Chelsea enough to be getting on with?
No, it’s not apparently. So we get the Return Of Bianca – the event I was hoping never to see happen. This means we can look forward to her appalling caterwauling. This means we can look forward to the actress playing her not being able to act. Worst of all, this means the door has been left slightly ajar; a crack wide enough for the worst character in EastEnders history to slide through:
Robbie, Bianca’s Bloody Brother.
That’s Dean Gaffney, in case you’d forgotten. MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON OUR SOULS.
Oh, I’m looking forward to this! The Dull and the Dreadful reuniting to annoy and bore us in equal measure. I was just getting used to Shirley’s Bela Lugosi face, hideous forthcoming coupling with Phil and general awfulness. I was just getting over the facial spasms of rage when Chelsea says ‘arksk’ instead of the more formal ‘ask’. I’d finally got over my temptation to burn my television whenever I think of the blatant injustice that is Winston’s meagre salary compared to Mickey’s. But Bianca? Coming back? I don’t think I can bare that. I might have to defect to Corrie – and that show’s appalling.
And, as a final thought, have you noticed in the recent advert for these awful characters’ return, Bianca is still wearing the same silver puffa jacket, red trousers and pink boots she was wearing in the 90s? Is there a special Bianca Shop where you can buy mid-90s Bianca clothes? Surely Pat’s not kept her outfit in mothballs all these years, has she? I find this really weird.